The intentional fallacy. What Is an Intentional Fallacy? 2022-10-27
The intentional fallacy Rating:
The intentional fallacy is a concept in literary criticism that refers to the belief that the meaning or significance of a work of art can be determined by examining the artist's intention or motivation behind creating it. This concept was first introduced by W.K. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley in their 1946 essay "The Intentional Fallacy," in which they argued that an artist's intention should not be used as a guide for interpreting a work of art.
According to Wimsatt and Beardsley, the intention of the artist is subjective and cannot be objectively verified. Therefore, using the artist's intention as a basis for interpreting a work of art is inherently flawed. Instead, they argued that the meaning of a work of art should be determined by examining the work itself and considering its formal elements, such as its structure, language, and symbols.
One of the main reasons that Wimsatt and Beardsley argued against using the artist's intention as a guide for interpretation is that it can be misleading. For example, an artist may have a specific intention in mind when creating a work of art, but the final product may be interpreted differently by different people. In this case, the artist's intention may not accurately reflect the meaning of the work as it is understood by others.
Furthermore, the intentional fallacy can also lead to a kind of "author worship," where the artist is seen as the ultimate authority on the meaning of their work. This can be problematic because it ignores the fact that the work of art exists independently of the artist and can be interpreted in various ways by different people.
Overall, the intentional fallacy highlights the importance of considering a work of art on its own terms, rather than relying on the artist's intention as a guide for interpretation. By examining the formal elements of a work and considering its cultural and historical context, we can arrive at a more nuanced understanding of its meaning and significance.
On the Intentional Fallacy by Reginald Shepherd
No one says, "Whoops, I wrote something. Simply to repeat an assertion is not to argue for it. At the end of the article, Wimsatt and Beardsley uphold the evaluative question: 'Should this work have been undertaken? The poem belongs to the public. You should read some of the negative things I have written about myself. Well, you and I know that the answer is obvious: Shakespeare's sonnets, like all poems, don't exist in a vacuum.
The Intentional Fallacy and the Meaning of Textual Meaning
Beardsley argue that the writer or artist's original intention for creating their work of art cannot be the basis on which to judge the merit of it; the work itself must testify to its success and merit, and the success a work of art has in communicating its meaning depends on how it relates to each individual reader or viewer. We live in a terribly, terribly socially stratified world—stratified in still deeply divisive ways. I merely tried to clarify what had already been brought up. Beardsley published The Intentional Fallacy. In view of these considerations I contend that it is more fitting and helpful to view the goal of textual interpretation as discovering what an author willed to convey.
Dilla's last album -Donuts. An interesting one, but no one's denying that creative misreadings are possible. Sometimes it is a matter of the surface indicators that seem to mark us—our color or the partner who we love or from whom we find sexual pleasure. Take good care, and thanks for reading and commenting. One of the greatest legacies of the much-maligned mainly by people who haven't really read them New Critics is the separation of the author and the text. The poem's meanings are elusive and generative, rather than fixed. Thus we use other criteria.
There are stated intentions that are helpful as I engage texts. I intend to be neither, as I do indeed respect you, Reginald. Theory indeed 'dries up poetry', to a certain degree, and the 'judgement of poems is different from the art of producing them'. And as I have said, it makes perfect sense to ask about the author's intention, or intended meaning, in this way. Why that word instead of its synonym? It is sad that you have now so lowered yourself. We cannot assume that all successful literary art should be filled with public knowledge.
It follows that literature does not stand in need of a theory of interpretation. But, the life lived is, as you aptly put it, an objectification that I tried to work for in the broken, fractured metrical scheme of the poem--a broken scheme that owes itself to the survivor-speak or the trickster-speak of so many of the working class or outsider environments that I have experienced firsthand. I don't agree completely. If we care about the fact that the author used a particular set of rules of language, then we're admitting that we care about what the author meant to say. If it achieved its goal? But just because an argument has been made in "the literature", no less which equates meaning with intent, and just because it was done 25 yrs ago, is not such a powerful argument in itself.
The intentional fallacy and affective fallacy : Thinking Literature by Shyam
The Meaning of the Author But meaning is defined by what an author willed to communicate so that the meaning of a text does consist in what an author willed to communicate. We must only interpret what we see in the moment of viewing the painting. But to what end is a poem the means? At the same time, having read the commentaries collected in the University of Chicago Press' classic Against Theory by Steven Knapp, Walter Benn Michaels et al and many other related debates, I also see the importance of arguments to the contrary. Writing poetry is an attempt to fulfill my intentions. Depending on how esoteric, or vague, a certain piece of art may be, it could be subject to a wide array of interpretations, especially if being viewed in a different time period than that in which it was created. But they misunderstood that they did not actually have complete license to do whatever they wanted—because, bluntly, the whole point was to remove personal taste from the creation of the music, including the performer's personal taste as much as the composer. As for Arthur's comment that theory should be abandoned because it's not useful to poets, I can't imagine thinking that the study and analysis of literature matters only insofar as it is of use to poets.
The Intentional Fallacy, or Authorial Intent — The Writer's Scrap Bin
But you have not presented what I would consider an argument for this position. This leaves aside the possibility of an audience misreading or misunderstanding the text. The passage from Knapp and Michaels you quote: "Absent the appeal to some author, there's not only no way to decide what language a text is in, there's no reason to think of it as actually being in any particular language. And again, asserting something, however forcefully or repeatedly, doesn't make it true, and I see no reason to bow to Knapp and Michaels just because they wrote an influential essay. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley circa 1946. But what that "more" is remains open to debate. But it seems to me there is a middle ground, in the poem, between intentions and results - and that is the work's "argument", its main theme.
The Intentional Fallacy: Defending Myself on JSTOR
Both have provided me with hours upon hours of wholesome, fulfilling entertainment. As I said before, either a poem is subject to rules of language or it's not. What the reader has is the text, nothing more, nothing less. I lost too much money at craps in my youth to be interested in dropping by your place on Wednesdays. I surely accept the fact that readers may read for other reasons, and that their motives are beyond my control, and further that future readers should I have any: unlikely! It would only really be remarkable if his stated intention was so radically different from what most readers perceive it to be that the discrepancy caused us to reexamine everything we thought we knew about the way the poem, or at least part of the poem, worked.